Hola hola from sunny Barcelona! Last Monday we had the Startup Grind Barcelona presentation event at the itnig headquarters. Barcelona experienced a brief preview of what's to come from April onwards.
We held a free event that got absolutely no promotion except for a couple of tweets some hours before the event. We wanted to test our reach just using word-of-mouth and it spread like wildfire. In just one week, we garnered over 50 people who through mutual contacts found our Facebook & Meetup event.
Test by doing
Founding a start-up has taught me several things. One is that you need to test your hypotheses quick, fail early and just work, work, work, and then some. And in many ways, Startup Grind Barcelona is like a start-up.
Besides our reach, we also tested the format of the event, the venue and the response of the attendees. The event started at 7PM, and the attendees arrived surprisingly on time for being Barcelona! By 7PM we had more than 20 people in the venue. A little chat here and there with everyone to get to know the audience before we started the presentation.
We kicked off with this amazing video we got from our friends at GEA Media:
After the video, I introduced Startup Grind Barcelona, the team and what is our mission in the Catalan Capital. The presentation lasted for 15 minutes and we sure had one or two good laughs. What I grasped from the audience is that none of them knew Startup Grind from before, and I think my team and I duly delivered a thorough presentation. We also briefly showed our website to the attendees, courtesy of MarsBased.
We had Bernat Farrero (CEO @ Camaloon, founder of itnig) over to show the audience what a fireside chat is. And because most of the attendees were first-time entrepreneurs or are not entrepreneurs yet, we discussed common topics around entrepreneurship in the beginning, getting started, and his background as a software developer turning into a successful CEO.
From the fireside chat we got some insightful quotes from Bernat such as "a good prioritization will show you more than one way to reach your ultimate goal" and "(you must) forget about ideas and failure, they're worth nothing".
The chat lasted for about thirty minutes, then we thanked everyone and feasted on the delicious catering & edible oils provided by DribbleDots.
Just do it
From what I've learnt from other Chapter Directors, this kind of event is not common among starting chapters. I might have been a pioneer in doing a free preview, one-size-fits-all, presentation event.
There's a reason for that. As an entrepreneur, I've also learnt that there are few things more motivating than deadlines. So first thing I did when I got the Barcelona Chapter was to set a date for a presentation event. I was fully committed to present Startup Grind to Barcelona even if we had no website, no program, no sponsors or no video. We just wanted to explain the idea and get to know our attendees.
This has probably been the best decision I've taken as a Director yet. A risk worth taking: we put out a very good presentation, we packed the place, we got an awesome video, a killer website and everyone had fun. What's best: people will spread the word for us, which is the best thing that could ever happen.
Define, simplify, refine
Our program is defined, and we have our goals set. Now we've got to polish and refine the event and we've got one whole month to do it. If we hadn't thrown this presentation event, maybe we wouldn't be that far right now.
One month will allow us to search for good sponsors, prepare a killer interview and make sure people are getting real value for their money.
By applying some of the concepts learn by creating a start-up and the Startup Grind values, we will undoubtedly put a real performance on our upcoming events.
We would love to see you around! Come and say hi!
Happy grinding in Barcelona ;)